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Chapter 5- Maybe this Christmas Autumn had passed by quite quickly, the Marauders had played no pranks on anyone much to Sirius’ disgust. They had also become better friends with Lily, Holly and Ruby except for Peter who had started to become very distant. Lily didn’t mind at all being friends with James since he had seemed to lose his arrogant stride and cocky smirk. Winter was fast approaching and for James and Lily that meant planning the Christmas ball, along with the help of the prefects, this group of prefects included Remus and Ruby, who had replaced Lily as Gryffindor's female prefect. “Well, the next few weeks should be fun for all,” James stated at breakfast. “winter is just settling in and we have a ball to organise.” “James I detect a hint of sarcasm.” “That’s very perceptive of you, Lily,” Sirius told her. Lily just glared at him. “Anyway James, it will be fun! We get to decide everything, and you get to boss Remus and Ruby around,” Lily was trying to coax James into liking the idea of planning the Christmas ball. James thought about the idea of bossing around one of his best friends then a thought occurred to him. “But I boss Remus around on a daily basis, it wouldn’t be any different.” “He has a point you know,” Remus voiced. Lily decided to give up. Everyone finished their breakfast in silence, just as they were about to leave Dumbledore stood up. “I would like to ask our Head Boy and Girl to see me before they go to class, thank you.” James and Lily walked up to the staff table to talk to Dumbledore, “James, Lily, I would like to remind you that as it is almost December, I think it would be wise to begin planning the Christmas ball. I expect that it will be as good as previous years, do make sure you inform the prefects of meeting times, now off you go, we don’t want to be late for your first lesson of the day.” James and Lily left the Great Hall and walked to Transfiguration together. “You ready for our test, Lily?” “No, you know very well Transfiguration is not my forte. I much rather Charms and Potions.” “Well, turning a table into a lion can be difficult, unless…” “You’re James Potter, right?” Lily interrupted. “Or Sirius Black,” James added, both he and Lily burst into a fit of laughter. They had calmed down by the time they had reached the Transfiguration classroom. They went their separate ways to sit with their respective friends, on either side of the room. Once they were seated, McGonagall began to test everyone individually in a smaller room off to the side. James kept stealing glances at Lily and more than once he saw that she was stealing glances at him as well. *** “Excuse me, could you all settle down please? Excu-” “Hey, shut the hell up!” “Thank you for that, James,” Lily smiled at him and James smiled back, Remus and Ruby noticed this and gave each other a quick glance. “Now as you all know this is our first meeting to organize the Christmas ball, and Dumbledore has informed myself and James that he wants it to be just as good as last years.” “So we are going to make this years better!” James added, the prefects laughed at his comment, “Hey… I was being serious.” The meeting went for an hour, then everyone left except for James, Lily, Remus and Ruby. “What do you think Sirius and Holly got up to while we were here?” James questioned is companions. “Well considering Sirius can’t manage to string a proper sentence together and direct it at her since we left London. I doubt they did much at all.” The four Gryffindor's laughed at the thought of Sirius and Holly sitting in an awkward silence as they walked back to their common room. They reached the Fat Lady, said the password and entered the common room to find Holly quietly doing her homework by the fire, Sirius was nowhere to be seen. “Where’s Sirius?” Remus asked Holly. She shrugged and continued on with her homework. Remus groaned then looked towards James. “Catch you ladies later, we better go talk to him.” He told them as they headed up to their dorm in search of Sirius. “He’s not here!” James exclaimed when they entered their empty room. “Where the bloody hell is he?” “Check the map.” James went to his trunk and rummaged around in it for the Marauder’s map. He lifted it out of his trunk and laid it out on his bed. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” James and Remus scanned the map for Sirius. “There he is,” Remus said calmly, pointing to the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest, “but why is he there?” “Come on let’s go.” *** “Padfoot! What are you doing out here, it’s freezing?” James asked his best friend as he sat down next to Sirius on the mossy rock. “Just thinking.” “Care to elaborate? Or should I assume you’re thinking about Holly.” “Assume away my friend, assume away… because you’re right. I talked to her while you guys were at your meeting. Didn’t go my way, so I just left.” James and Remus exchanged a glance. “You actually like her don’t you?” Sirius nodded. “She told me I just like the way she looks, that I don’t even know her. but there’s something else.” He told them miserably. James couldn’t help but laugh. Sirius stared up at him darkly and pulled out his wand. “You wouldn’t.” James told him with a arrogant smirk. Sirius dropped his wand in defeat. “You’re right I wouldn’t. Where did Moony go?” James shrugged. “Care to go for a run?” Sirius nodded and promptly transformed into a large black dog, running further into the forest. James grinned and followed him. *** Remus had wandered back up to the common room. Holly was still right where they had found her earlier but it appeared that Lily and Ruby had already gone upstairs to their dorm. He sat down next to her with out saying anything. She pretended not to notice him while he watched her write in tiny, neat scrawl. “What?” She asked after a few moments, unable to bear him watching her in silence anymore. “You were wrong, you know.” He informed her then stood up to leave. He was at the staircase to the boys dorm before she dropped her quill and spun around. “Wrong about what?” Holly called to him but he didn’t answer. “Uh!” She needed to talk to Lily and Ruby, she thought quickly packing up her stuff. Just as she was about to leave Sirius and James came back inside. She couldn’t help but blush before dashing across the room to her dorm. “Help me.” Holly pleaded as she entered the room with a crash. Her friends looked up from where they were sitting on the floor laughing about something. “Join us and share your worries, my love.” Lily soothed patting the floor beside her. Holly stared at them both in a meaningful way and they both lost their smiles. “OK we’re being serious.” Holly groaned and sat down. “Something I said?” Lily queried. “What is it?” Ruby asked. “Sirius? We noticed that he wasn’t around when we came back from the meeting. What happened?” “He asked me out on a date.” “Really?” Asked Lily excitedly. “What did you say?” “I told him that he only liked the way I looked and that I refused to be just another random girl to him.” “And?” Prompted Ruby impatiently. “And he left.” “Left? What do you mean? He just gave up?” “Yep. He just gave up. Left the common room.” “So…” Holly sighed. “So then Remus came in and was like you were wrong.” “Wrong about what?” Ruby asked, slightly confused. “Sirius!” Lily sighed impatiently. “Keep up!” “Ohh.” Ruby said. “So what’s the problem then?” “I don’t know!” Holly exclaimed jumping up suddenly. “Do you like him?” Lily asked calmly. “Maybe…yes…no...I don’t know! I'm so confused.” “Why? Why are you so unsure? Sirius can be a pretty decent guy…” “I don’t know! He’s just not what I want.” Holly told them in an exasperated voice. “What do you want then?” Ruby asked quietly. Holly thought for a moment. (A/N: Adapted from Cool rider, sung by Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease II) “If you really want to know what I want in a guy Well, I'm looking for a dream on a mean machine with hell in his eyes I want a devil in a dark disguise, he's gonna be wild as the wind And one fine night, I'll be holding on tight to a Cool rider, a cool rider If he's cool enough, he can burn me through and through If it takes forever, then I’ll wait forever No ordinary boy, no ordinary boy is gonna do I want a rider that's cool That's the way it's gonna be, and that's the way that I feel I want a lot more than the boy next door, I want hell on wheels Just give me a black motorcycle with a man growing out of the seat And move aside 'cause I'm gonna ride with a Cool rider, a cool rider If he's cool enough, he can burn me through and through If it takes forever, then I’ll wait forever No ordinary boy, no ordinary boy is gonna do I want a rider that's cool I don't want no ordinary guys comin' on strong to me They don't know what I'm looking for, they don't know what I need They're gonna know it when he gets here, 'cause they'll cry, they'll be shakin' I'll do anything to let him know that I'm his, his for the taking I want a cool rider, a cool rider I want a cool rider, a cool rider I want a C-O-O-L R-I-D-E-R I need a C-O-O-L R-I-D-E-R” Ruby and Lily were silent for a moment. Before Lily started to speak then stopped. “No, just say it.” Holly told her. “Well, if I may say so I think you just described Sirius. So I don’t see a problem.” Holly thought about it. “No, I want someone dark and mysterious. That was how he used to seem. But he isn’t mysterious, we all know what he's thinking. He changed and unlike you and James Lils, I don’t like it. I want someone who makes me hot and cold. Who knows me and still wants to be around me. Someone who will always protect me because he wants to not just because he can.” “But you used to like him.” Ruby stated thoughtfully. Holly looked down shyly. “Maybe…once when he was exactly what I wanted. But then he didn’t see me, did he? I finally got his attention and I realised I don’t want it so bad anymore. Maybe I just want some fun.” *** “Hey Sirius!...What are you doing?” James asked as he bounded into the empty common room to find Sirius next to the stairs that lead to the girls dorms. “Shhhh!” Sirius told him with a wave of his arms. James leaned next to him to listen too. “What are we listening to?” He asked in a whisper. Sirius sighed in defeat and wandered to the nearest couch. “Nothing now.” “Ok…what were we listening to?” James asked cheerfully totally unfazed by how annoyed Sirius was. “What Holly wants in a guy…” “Which is?” “A dark devil…cool…” Sirius muttered more to himself than to James. “Huh?” “Never mind. Catch ya in the morning.” *** “Looking sharp.” “Who are you talking to?” James asked as he and Sirius stood infront of the mirror. Sirius snorted in response. “Who do you think mate? I was, of course talking to myself.” Sirius told him running a hand through his hair. “You know Padfoot, talking to yourself is the first sign of madness…not sure what complementing yourself is…” Remus joked in the background as he searched madly for his shoes. Sirius spun around to face him. “Ah but there is a fine line between madness and brilliance my friend and I-“ “Am bordering on mad?” James offered helpfully. Sirius scowled. “The whole world is against me! I can’t help if I look charming tonight.” James sighed. “Ready Pete?” he called into the bathroom. Peter came scurrying out to join them. “I told Lily I would meet her down there. So can we go?” *** “Have you seen my hairbrush?” “Um, its under your bed.” “What’s it doing there?” “I don’t know! More importantly have you seen my pink lipstick?” “The pale shimmery one?” “Yeah that’s it.” “Here. Sorry I borrowed it.” “That’s cool, it looks good on you.” “Thanks! Does my hair look ok?” “Awesome. How bout mine? It wont do a thing I want!” “No its fine! Looks good.” “Yeah, you look great! So who are you trying to impress, Lils?” “No one… I just want to look nice. You know?” “Yeah I get it.” The others told her. Lily smiled as she looked in the mirror at her friends. (A/N: Adapted from Anticipating by Britney Spears. BTW they are actually making their way to hall as they sing. Didn’t know how to quite get that across.) Lily: Hair’s done all perfect Lookin' in the mirror and I'm checkin' out my lipstick Ruby: Girlfriends, everyone’s set We’re going out tonight Holly: Feelin' so crazy cool Vibe so right Don't know what They're ready for Ruby: well we’re ready Looking so hot Lily: one last check Step outside Skip down the stairs Head to the door Makin' our way To the hall” At the door they all split up, heading toward a boy they wanted to dance with. All: My body's taken over And we’re gonna have fun Woah yeah ay yeah I'll be anticipating This is our song They're playing I wanna dance with you You're feelin' this right Let's party tonight Lily to James: Step up baby Don't be shy Ruby to Remus: know you've noticed me 'Cause you're Givin' me the eye And I Don't wanna play around Baby watch me move Holly to Random: Check this Let's make a scene Don't need to Wait another Why you wanna Make me long for you? All: Move it baby over here So we can dance all night. We can get down To the music’s sound Feelin' so good baby All around Feelin' kinda flirty Come and get me now Woah oh Ow yeah I'll be anticipating This is our song They're playing I wanna dance with you You're feelin' this right Let's party tonight I'll be anticipating This is our song They're playing I wanna dance with you You're feeling this right Let's party tonight.” *** “Quite an entrance back there Evans.” James joked as he danced with Lily. He was slightly surprised that she had asked him to dance… and even more surprised when she had agreed to dance a second time. Lily laughed as he twirled her around. “So what do you think?” “I think you look fabulous in that lovely green dress. Really complements your eyes.” Lily blushed and swatted him on the arm playfully. “I mean the hall.” James laughed easily. “I know. I have to say we did a fabulous job.” He told her dipping her skillfully. She giggled again. Who would have thought she would have chosen to dance with James Potter? And have fun while doing so? *** “Who would have thought that our Lily would be dancing with James Potter?” Ruby asked, looking around the table where Holly, Sirius and Remus sat. They all laughed and watched as James dipped Lily. Sirius couldn’t help but notice that both girls were smiling dreamily. He glanced around at the other tables and noticed it was a common look. Now if he could make Holly look at him like Lily was staring at James. He stood abruptly, making everyone look up at him. “Sorry, just need some air.” He told them before striding to the nearest exit, waving to James and Lily as they made their way to their table. Lily sat down next to her friends and grabbed a strawberry from the fruit platter that was in the middle of the table. “Where’s he going?” “Outside.” Remus told her. She made a small O with her mouth and looked at Holly. Holly shrugged as if to say, wasn’t me. She cleared her throat and Lily looked back at her strawberry. “I really like the decorations, you two.” Holly told them, trying to steer the conversation away from her. James smiled at Lily and put his arm around her shoulders. “All thanks to Lily here. She had the vision. I only took notes.” He laughed as Lily blushed again. He liked this effect he was having on her. Not once tonight had she told him off or rolled her eyes at him. Miracles do happen. “Say Moony...we should go find Padfoot.” As they left Ruby leaned in close to Lily. “So…you and James.” “Are friends and having a good time.” She replied calmly, looking around as the fruit platter disappeared and dessert was served. Holly and Ruby both looked at her in disbelief. “We were watching you two out there…you do realise that most of the female population were watching you with green eyes.” Lily shrugged. “Yeah so James has a few admirers. They aren’t going to deck me or anything.” “It wasn’t just dancing with James that was enviable, it was the way he was looking at you and the way you were looking at him.” “How was I looking at him?” Lily asked in shock. Holly sighed. “Like you were the luckiest girl in the world.” Lily stared at them. What were they trying to say? She was about to open her mouth to defend herself when James, Remus and Sirius returned. Holly and Ruby stifled a giggle as Lily blushed again. She composed herself long enough to hold a civilized conversation throughout their meal. *** After dessert Lily stood by the side of the dance floor and watched the colorful couples twirl merrily. She smiled remembering dancing with James earlier. “Care to dance?” Someone asked from behind her. She spun around to face Elliot Barker. She smiled weakly. “I’d rather not.” She told him truthfully. “I saw that smile. You want to dance with me.” “No. No I don’t.” She told him turning away from him. “Come on Baby, I don’t like how we ended things. I want to dance and have a chat.” Elliot said as he grabbed Lily’s arm to stop her from walking off. Lily wrenched her arm away. “No I don’t want to dance with you.” “I kno-“ “I believe she said no Barker, leave her alone.” James interrupted. He had been listening to most of their conversation and did not like where it was heading. Elliot smirked. “What are you? Her knight in shining armour?” James opened his mouth to speak when Dumbledore stood and opened his arms to ask for silence. He gave Elliot a smug grin before turning to where Dumbledore stood. “A Merry Christmas to all. Before we all head off to our warm beds I would like to thank our Head Boy and Girl and our prefects for organizing this magnificent ball.” Dumbledore paused to wait for the applause to die down. “Yes, yes thank you all. Now for the last dance of the night could I ask our Head Boy and Girl to step onto the dance floor?” James smiled to himself and turned around. He gave a small bow to Lily, reaching his hand passed Elliot to gallantly ask her to join him. She smiled and accepting his hand with a small curtsy. They made their way to the middle of the dance floor where they began to sway with the music. After a moment she looked up at him. “Thank you. I have had a wonderful time tonight James.” “Any time Lily.” He told her. Smiling back down at her as she rested her head on his chest. Remus watched Lily and James with a smile. He could almost feel the sighs from the crowd. He turned to Ruby. “Would you like to dance?” She nodded slowly and he lead her to the floor. Other people slowly began to join in the slow dance the Head Boy and Girl started until there were barely any people still sitting at tables. Sadly one of these people was Holly. She sighed and looked slowly around the room. She spotted Sirius just entering from another stroll outside. He leaned casually against the wall and watched the happy couples. Holly thought it odd as she watched him reject a blonde Hufflepuff. She wandered slowly over to him, feeling slightly sorry for him and wanting maybe to offer her friendship. He watched her curiously until she spoke. “Since when do you say no to pretty young Hufflepuffs?” He grinned. “Since I realised that they were incapable of holding an intelligent conversation.” “I think she heard that.” Sirius shrugged his shoulders. “She probably didn’t know what half those words meant. I don’t think I will be attacked by the breathing dolls.” Holly smiled and they both watched the twirling couples. “Look at James and Lily…that girl is so head over heels,” Sirius said. “Yeah but she’s never going to admit that.” “Stubborn as he is I suppose.” “Even more…Sirius? Dance with me?” she asked quietly, offering her hand. He accepted with his famous smile. “I would love to.” He told her as they joined the happy dancers on the floor. *** Up at the teachers table Dumbledore sat alone swaying gently to the music. He watched with a faint smile as his students enjoyed their ball and each others company. It gave him hope that the magical world would survive through the war that was approaching. They needed to remember what they were fighting for and what was at stake. (A/N: Maybe This Christmas, by Ron Sexsmith) “Maybe this Christmas will mean something more Maybe this year love will appear Deeper than ever before And maybe forgiveness will ask us to call Someone we love Someone we’ve lost For reasons we can’t quite recall Mmm, maybe this Christmas Maybe there’ll be an open door Maybe the star that shined before Will shine once more, ohhh Mmmmmmm, mmmmmmmm And maybe this Christmas will find us at last In heaven, at peace Prayed for at least For the love we’ve been shown in the past Maybe this Christmas Maybe this Christmas” *** “Before you go, could James and Lily please see me before you go? Thank you.” James and Lily walked off the dance floor and towards Dumbledore. “Now, as you two are the schools Head Boy and Girl, you have the duty of patrolling the halls to make sure everyone has gone to bed.” James and Lily nodded. They left the hall, deciding to start with the dungeons. “Well Lily, looks like you’re going to have to spend some more time with me.” “Damn,” Lily replied in a mocking tone. James just grinned at her. They walked all over Hogwarts; apparently the entire school was tired, as James and Lily found no one wandering the halls. So they just headed back to Gryffindor tower. “So, did you have fun tonight?” James asked as he and Lily stepped through the portrait hole into the common room. “You know I did, James,” Lily noticed that James had moved closer to her as she answered his question. James leaned in towards Lily but she backed away, “James, I can’t, I’m sorry.” Lily turned and ran up the stairs to her dorm, thankfully all the girls were asleep. *** A/N: Cool Rider, music and lyrics by Genners Wade, vocals by Michelle Pfeiffer Anticipating, by Britney Spears Maybe This Christmas, by Ron Sexsmith

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